Sermons

Summary: We need wisdom in order to navigate through the winds & waves of life.

WISDOM FOR THE WINDS & WAVES OF LIFE

James 1:5-7

By Cleavon P. Matthews Sr.

May 25, 2003

INTRODUCTION

James a servant of God and the Lord Jesus Christ has already thoroughly exhorted his readers to consider their various trials joy because the proving of their faith in God will produce perseverance and perseverance will culminate in their perfection when they stand before the Almighty in judgment.

Faith is the cornerstone of the spiritual journey of life in the Lord. James emphatically emphasizes the essential need for active obedient faith. As well the Hebrew writer said, “For without faith it is impossible to please him for he that comes to God must believe that he is and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (11:6). Faith is a vital virtue. Faith is a crucial conviction. Faith is a personal profession. Faith is a deliberate determination. Faith is an objective obedience. We are all the children of God by faith. We have access into grace by faith. We are saved by faith.

But along with faith we must have wisdom. In fact genuine faith is rooted and grounded in wisdom. In this vaporous life we will encounter both winds and waves. There will be perilous times. There will be days of plenty and days of poverty. There will be days of multitude and days of minimal. As long as Lucifer is loose. As long as Beelzebub is busy. As long as the Prince of darkness is prating and plotting. As long as Satan is slandering. As long as the lion is roaring. As long as the Devil is deceiving there will be trials in this life. Trouble is just as sure as death and taxes. None of us are exempt from trouble. None of us will escape the pavilion of perplexing problems.

All of us will pass by the intersection of nowhere to run and no place to hide. Certainly we have heard of the patience of Job (5:11). Job was unlike us. He was a perfect and upright man. He feared God and shunned evil. But Job was afflicted with a great affliction. He lost his cattle. He lost his servants. He lost his sheep. He lost his sons and daughters. The record says, “And behold there came a great wind from the wilderness and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead” (1:19).

Adverse winds will blow in our homes and cause waves to roll in and disrupt the homeostasis of our habitation. When the winds of jealousy, covetousness, prejudice, pride, selfishness, and greed appear be sure the waves of broken hearts, hurt feelings, sleepless nights, broken homes, fear, unforgiveness, and disunity are sure to follow.

We can’t always predicate the pattern and direction of the winds and waves of life. They often arise suddenly, quickly, instantly, and without warning. As the winds and waves move without restriction they leave behind a path of destruction. Drowned dreams. Flooded faith. Uprooted hopes. Crushed foundations. The winds and waves of life leave behind a parade of powerless, lifeless, aimless social outcasts and relationship challenged people yearning for acceptance and love.

We need wisdom in order to deal with the winds and waves of life. We need to be able to navigate through the nautical noise. We need to be able to stay a float and sail through our stormy seasons. Wisdom becomes an anchor to stabilize our position in turbulent times. Wisdom is a guiding rudder mapping out our course from the island of despair to the mainland of eternity! Wisdom is more than mere intellectual astuteness. Wisdom is the combining of principle and practice. True wisdom is never divorced from action. Wisdom always leads to the proper action at the proper time. Wisdom tells us what to do when we don’t know what to do! Wisdom guides us in the proper decisions of life.

When our faith is tried and the winds and waves of life threaten to toss us to and fro we need wisdom. When someone is attacking you wisdom is necessary to instruct you in how to respond. When someone makes you an offer you need wisdom to know whether or not to accept. When you are having problems in your marriage you need wisdom. As a parent you need wisdom. As a Christian you need wisdom. In strained relationships you need wisdom.

I.THE PETITION

James 1:5 “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”

The first key to obtaining wisdom is acknowledging our lack of wisdom. Notice in the face of various temptations we are not instructed to pursue power. We are not instructed to pursue strength. We are not instructed to pursue longsuffering. We are not instructed to pursue love. We are instructed to pursue wisdom! Wisdom is power and strength. Wisdom reveals the way to get what God desires for us to possess!

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